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I Carry Thanks For…

Family. I’m so blessed to be part of a good family. And, when I say good, it is about as far away as the Cleavers as one could imagine. There was not much that was pretty or tidy or orderly during many of the years that I was a child.

While I’m sure there are families that were way messier than mine, we have had our share of heartache, destruction and tears, lots of tears. What made us stick it out?

There were times in my life that I didn’t speak to these people wishing I could choose an easier crowd to call my family. It was just too painful, and I felt like they failed me and I had failed them. Sometimes it was just too hard to get passed the past. Through it all though, we still managed to keep trying, hoping that time would afford us the opportunity to come around in a way to experience a better understanding of the other.

Life is not fair, but you have to just keep going. I heard that a lot growing up and it pissed me off every time I heard it, but I wonder now if that is what made the difference between finding and developing good relationships with these people. Even when I wanted to give up, I couldn’t because bond or familiarity or kinship was too deep.

People I know often remark about my relationship with these people I call my posse, but it takes work, which at times involves those big, ugly, snotty, can’t-catch-your-breath tears. It’s uncomfortable and painful to get to the other side, but I wonder if my desire to maintain authentic relationships is what makes it worth all the effort.

Today I sit, very grateful for these people, blessed that I feel no longer feel any unfinished business with any of them. There was a time that I couldn’t say that. There is still work to be done, but with each passing day or week or year, I gain new insight and appreciation for them and myself. Portions of the past may have indeed been far from the white bread, picket fence existence, but all of the past, good and bad, shaped me into the person I am today.

Paul used to joke about non-blood connections. It makes me smile because I knew how far we came finding an understanding and love for each other. At times when our family was messy and ugly and broken, he could remind me that not everyone has a family to lean on.

And yes, I do believe that life is unfair too much of the time, but I can’t imagine it any other way. If today was all you had, would you conduct yourself the same way? What might you change?

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